Adam Fitch’s proposed light-rail line would undoubtedly cost less [“Light rail and B-Line combo better than Broadway SkyTrain?”, April 30]. In my opinion, though, his proposal fails several tests of good urban-transit planning.
Fitch apparently believes that a rapid-transit option to B-Line buses should exist primarily to move UBC riders to and from the SkyTrain. Otherwise, why would he promote a light-rail route that avoids every big east-west traffic generator between Commercial Drive and the UBC campus?
Especially disturbing is the omission of Vancouver General Hospital and other medical facilities in its area. Are we to expect patients coming for tests and day treatments to hobble at least four blocks up a steep hill to the nearest VGH facility?
Avoiding prohibitive subsidies when providing frequent rapid-transit service requires high usage. This, in turn, depends on serving high-density residential and commercial areas.
Nevertheless, as one example, we are being asked to support a route that manages to go all the way from Arbutus Street to UBC via what may be the least densely populated area of Vancouver.
Fitch is quite right that we should seriously consider options such as an aboveground route along Great Northern Way. That could save significant money, without a loss of traffic.
On the other hand, please let’s not be so concerned about saving and avoiding hard political decisions in the short term that we destroy the long-term viability of the project.
> Don Nadeau / Vancouver